When it comes to electrical devices, you do not have to look over a long list of potential sources for any given problem. The list gets even shorter when the problem is a component inside the electrical device. That is the case with the RV fridge fan
If the fridge fan is not working, check the wiring and connections first. You know you have power as the fridge light turns on so it is not a power source, fuse, or a breaker. That is unless the fridge fan has a dedicated fuse. You do not have a lot of options to investigate.
To learn more about this problem and how to fix it, just continue to read our article. It contains the information you want to know about so you can troubleshoot the problem yourself without calling in a technician.
This fridge fan situation has 4 sources for why it is acting up. The first source would be that you set the internal temperature too high and the fan must keep working to keep the food fresh.
The second source would be that the fan’s motor’s condenser is faulty and needs to be replaced. The third source is that you have a faulty thermostat and it is sending the wrong signals to the fan.
Finally, there is some build-up on the condenser coils that need to be removed. All of these sources do not take a lot of electrical or mechanical skill to diagnose or fix.
The turning on and off of the fan is called cycling. You can tell between a normal cycle and an abnormal one. Your food will be the first clue as it may start to spoil when the fan is abnormally cycling.
Check your thermostat first before doing anything else. If you did set the temperature too high, it won’t cost you anything to reset it. Do a test and if there is still a problem with the abnormal cycling, then move on to the other sources. One is checking the thermostat to see if it is failing.
This is hard to say as the fans are set to work at different lengths of time depending on the temperature, and what type of cooling system is inside the fridge.
There does not seem to be any set time as there are other factors that come into play as well as different types of fans in a refrigerator. The best source to get this information would be either the owner’s manual or the dealer's.
As we researched this topic, we found that no one is interested in how long the fan should run to be normal. There are so many different factors that what is normal for you may not be normal for another fridge.
What is interesting to everyone is how many fans your fridge has. Some units may have two or three fans for different purposes. And they all have the same opportunity to fail on you.
Generally, for all the fans, one of the first places you need to check if one or more are not working will be their motors. Those will most likely be the first to fail and they are the most common problem you will face.
Most modern fridges found in RVs and trailers will run more often than not. That is the way they are designed to work and they will have short off-cycle times and longer on-cycle times.
But the fridge fan should not be running all the time. If it is there are a series of sources, some of which are the same as listed above.
1. The internal temperature is set to high
2. The condenser fan is not working- there could be a blockage, lack of power, or something wrong with the motor. The condenser fan is not the same as the fridge fan
3. The defrost thermostat is faulty- this would need to be replaced if it is the source of the problem
4. There is build-up on the condenser coils- you would need to clean the build-up off and the instructions to do that should be in your owner’s manual.
Also, you may have a wiring problem. Those wires leading to the fan motor need to be checked for damage or loose connections. Road vibration can do its share of loosening connections so make sure to check all your wiring and tighten anything that is loose.
The fan is one of those components that does not have a variety of sources stopping it from working. If you get power to the fridge but not the fan, check the wiring to see if anything has come loose.
Do the same checks as mentioned earlier as all fridges operate in similar manners. There are some differences between types but the fridge fan will always need electricity, thermostats, and more to operate correctly.
The big difference between a Dometic fridge and other RV fridge brands is that this company has a separate reset button. You do not have to turn it off and back on to reset the device. One push of the button should do the trick.
One piece of fridge equipment that has not been mentioned is the control board. This electronic device may not be working that well and keeps the fridge fan from turning on.
This is something you would need a multimeter to check as well as a qualified technician. Control boards are usually outside the general public’s expertise to repair or fix.
If the resetting does not work, then it is time to call in the technician to see if they can diagnose the problem and get it fixed before your food spoils.
The actual location for these fans may be different for different Dometic models. On the DM2652LBX refrigerator, you are going to find a cooling fan on the back side of the fridge underneath or near the cooling pipes.
This fan is controlled by a thermal switch and if you park in the sunlight, you may get worried that something is wrong as this fan will cycle frequently. If the owner’s manual for your specific Dometic fridge has diagrams, then it should be a snap to find the location of the fridge fan.
Keep in mind that there may be a vent fan, circulation fan, a cooling fan so make sure you know which one you want to locate. Once you find it, you may have several screws to remove before you can take the fan off the fridge.
That is if it is in an easy-to-access location. Some designs may have you removing many different parts or access panels before getting to the fridge fan.
When you start your search keep your tool box close by so you can start work on the fan without any long interruptions.
In some cases, this may be normal. Some RV owners take pleasure in hearing their fridge fans turn on because that noise is telling them their fridge is working normally and there is nothing to worry about.
For other owners, it is telling them that there is a problem with the fan and it could have dirty blades. Or the fridge is not level, or there is a problem with the motor. There are only a few sources for this problem.
Generally, RV and trailer owners replace the fan with a quieter model. Even if it is a normal sound, many owners do not like hearing it. At some given point they reach their tolerance level and want to get rid of the noisy fan.
It is not hard to find a replacement or install one. You do not need a technician to do this task. Just remove all the screws and then the wiring. Then move the wires to the new fan and put the screws back in once the fan is in place.
You can find replacement fans just about anywhere. Some people have added computer cooling fans to their units to help cut the noise as well as keep the fridge cool.
There is nothing new to add to this model of fridge. About the only thing different would be that the number of sources may not be as long as the Dometic fridge fan issue.
The first place to check will be the thermostat. You either set it too low or it is beginning to wear out for some reason. It is possible to set the thermostat too low as the fan cannot detect that it needs to turn on.
So check the temperature setting and then test it to see if it is failing or not. The second source of this problem will be the fan motor. Since the fan works continuously with few breaks it is quite easy for the motor to stop working, burnout or wear out.
If this is the source of the problem then you will have to replace the fan and the motor. The same goes for the thermostat. If it is not working correctly, you will have to replace it as well.
Use your multimeter for both parts to see if the power is getting to where it is supposed to get. If these two parts are okay, then look for other sources that may contribute to this problem.
This brand of fridge may be designed a bit differently than the other two. In this situation, it is possible for a fuse to blow and cut the power to the evaporator fan.
Check the fuse in the system to make sure that it is okay. A visual check is usually all you will need to do but sometimes fuses get tricky and hide the damage done making it hard to see if it is blown or not.
There may be a problem with the switch on the Norcold RV fridge. Check the switch with your multimeter to make sure there is power running like it should when the switch is turned on.
One of the differences between a Norcold fridge and a Dometic model is that the Norcold model does not come with a separate reset button to push. You will have to turn the power switch off for a few minutes and then back on to reset this fridge.
If resetting does not solve the problem with the fan, there could be something else that is wrong that is contributing to the problem.
One possibility that the fan is not working right is that it is old. The fan motor is just wearing out due to age and use. When this happens, you will need to replace the fan and the motor.
However, the fan not working may not be due to a problem with just the fan. There could be contributing sources like a failing compressor, the fridge is not level, you leaving the door of the fridge open and so many more possibilities.
Check to see what other components are working so you can eliminate possibilities from the list. If the fan operates on 9 or 12-volt battery power, check the batteries to see if they lost power.
When the fridge fan stops working, your food is in trouble. This is a problem that should not have troubleshooting delayed. If you own a cooler, you can protect your food while you work on the fridge.
If the problem is with the fan motor, then the only repair you can make is to replace the motor. The fix is simple as there are fewer sources for the problem than if the whole fridge was not working. Check the manual for help.